I’ve been mulling over how to create reputation systems for SAFE and want to share some initial sketchy ideas. Please let’s not go off topic here (e.g onto whether this is something you want or not, please keep as close to how to build a reputation system as possible, and particularly the merits or problems with the ideas presented here).
Reputation & Relevance
When I talk about reputation, I don’t envisage something about good/bad but as something I want/Don’t want to engage with, and the ability for groups to gravitate around common “interests”, but an emphasis on trust. So I am talking about relevance as well as reputation. I want to still call it a reputation system though, because I don’t want to lose the connection with trust, without which it degenerates into a search engine.
Since I originally started mulling this over I’ve begun to think differently about how such systems could be built.
Originally I was thinking of something using the gamification approach of StackExchange, not necessarily upvotes and downvotes, but in terms of how to get people to engage.
Lately though, I’ve been thinking that it could be far more seamless, almost invisible. For example, what is twitter, but a very effective reputation system. Not in crude terms like number of followers, but how using it enables us to connect with those people that we are interested in, out of an enormous number of accounts. I rarely search twitter - through using it I gravitate towards people who share stuff that I value, and by following and retweeting them, I enhance their reputation - not by increasing a score, but by increasing their visibility with people already interested in what I share.
If we were to look at the relationships, we would see how this implicit reputation system is encoded by who follows whom, who is retweeted by whom etc., and how we are guided by this invisible reputation network without being conscious of its presence. For example, I follow people very selectively. I see new people who I might follow when those I already follow retweet things they like. Following and retweeting, unfollowing, blocking etc, become the upvotes and downvotes which we don’t perceive directly, but which are effective, and less crude indicators of usefulness, and in some sense, of reputation.
I guess for similar social applications these techniques can be used pretty directly. I’m curious though, to see if we can extract and reuse, or perhaps innovate to bring seamless reputation systems to none social apps too. Or should we provide an underlying social platform, that can act as a reputation and relevance system, integrating with apps that can make use of this?